THE FROZEN BODY TO BE BURIED


            The daughters of couple who went missing in the Swiss Alps 75-years ago have said they "will finally be able to mourn" their parents after their funeral service. Marcelin Dumoulin and his wife Francine were laid to rest over the weekend after a walker discovered their frozen remains on a melting glacier.

            The couple, then 40 and 37, disappeared after they set off on a trek one morning from their home in Chandolin to check on their cattle in a pasture two miles away in Bern canton.The ventured along a glacier footpath, which was the quickest route, on a clear summer’s day. But they vanished after dark clouds gathered in the sky and visibility worsened.Rescue workers and locals, who believed Marcelin and Francine had likely fallen into a crevasse, launched a fruitless search for two months after the pair disappeared on August 15, 1942.

             But after failing to find any sign of them, they eventually abandoned the hunt and the couple’s seven young children, aged between two to 13, were placed into foster care.More than seven decades later, a local ski resort worker found the Marcelin and Francine’s remains preserved in the Tsanfleuron glacier on 13 July.The couple’s belongings, including backpacks and a watch were also discovered in the ice nearby.

             Their two surviving daughters, Marceline Udry-Dumoulin and Monique Gautschy, said police officially identified the pair through DNA tests. The pair said farewell to their parents in a funeral service in the church at Saviese in Valais canton, near where the couple lived in Chandolin."I saw them leave that Saturday morning," recalled Monique, who was 11 when the couple went missing. "They were supposed to spend the night in the alpine pasture at Grilden and come back on Sunday."


              Marceline, who was four on the day her parents went missing, told Le Matin that she had climbed the glacier three times after her parents vanished.She said she was "constantly wondering what had happened to them”.She added: "We spent our whole lives searching for them, without stopping. We never thought we'd be able to give them the funeral they deserved."Her niece Maryline said her two aunts Monique and Marceline were now "happy they will finally be able to mourn”.The priest at the Saviese church told mourners at the funeral: "Three-quarters of a century later the family can at last stop asking the question: 'what happened to them?'”

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